ATFL Statement: Parties Responsible to the August 4 Beirut Port Blast Must Be Held Accountable
Washington, DC, August 4, 2021 (ATFL) – The American Task Force on Lebanon, a leadership organization of Americans of Lebanese heritage, continues to grieve with the Lebanese people over their losses from last year’s August 4 Beirut Port blast and calls on the Lebanese government and international community to conduct and conclude an independent and transparent investigation.
We regret that since the explosion of ammonium nitrate at the Port of Beirut last year, the Lebanese people have yet to see justice and accountability. The blast cost the lives of 218 people and injured 7,000, while destroying critical infrastructure in Lebanon’s capital.
A report released by Human Rights Watch this week revealed evidence against Lebanese officials with respect to the incident. Their report concluded that government leaders were aware of the ammonium nitrate dangerously stored in the port and failed to take corrective action to address the problem and protect the Lebanese people.
Further, the domestic investigation launched on August 10 last year has continued to face obstructions and political interference. The United States and other international partners should call for an independent international investigation.
ATFL Chairman Spence Abraham said, “We remained concerned for the plight of the Lebanese people and appreciate the attention of the United States government. We continue to call for an independent and transparent investigation with the support and involvement of the international community. The Lebanese people deserve nothing less.”
The American Task Force on Lebanon is 501(C)3 nonprofit organization of prominent Americans of Lebanese heritage, who educate for the strengthening of the historic U.S.-Lebanon relationship. The mission and objectives of ATFL shall always be in the best interest of the United States and will promote the national unity, independence, and prosperity of a democratic and multi-sectarian Lebanon.